Brodsky Quartet (Adolph Brodsky Manchester)

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The Brodsky Quartet was the second string quartet established and led by violinist Adolph Brodsky.


It was established in 1895 in Manchester, after Brodsky left New York and came to the English city to teach at the Royal Manchester College of Music and direct the Hallé Orchestra.[1][2]

Brodsky played first violin, Rawdon Briggs played second violin, Simon Speelman played the viola, and Carl Fuchs played the cello.[2] After the First World War the membership changed several times, with Brodsky the only original member.

Brodsky and Fuchs, who both admired Edward Elgar, met him in February 1900, when Hans Richter introduced them following a performance of the Enigma Variations Richter conducted in Manchester. Fuchs asked Elgar to compose a string quartet for the Brodsky Quartet.[3] Several years later, in 1918, Elgar completed his String Quartet in E minor, Op. 83 and dedicated it to the Brodsky Quartet.[4][5]

However, at the time Brodsky and Speelman were nearly seventy years of age[5] and the remainder of the quartet in their fifties and the work premiere was given in London by the "British String Quartet", led by Albert Sammons.[6][7]

Brodsky had formed the first Brodsky Quartet in Leipzig in 1884.


  1. ^ Ehrlich 1897, p. 17: "[As of 1897 Brodsky is] director of the Royal College of Music at Manchester ... Before coming to England Brodsky had been ... in New York."
  2. ^ a b Baker 1919, p. 119: "In 1895 [Brodsky] settled in Manchester as leader of the Hallé Orchestra and principal prof. of vl. at the R. C. M. ... There he also established another quartet (with Briggs, Speelman, Fuchs)."
  3. ^ Moore 1999, p. 299: "Early in February [1900] Edward and Alice were in Manchester again for the second of two Richter performances of the Variations ... At supper after the Manchester concert, [Richter] introduced ... Adolf Brodsky, and his wife ... The Brodskys were becoming keen admirers of Edward's music. So was the cellist of the Brodsky Quartet ... Carl Fuchs. Fuchs extracted from Edward a promise to write something for the cello one day."
  4. ^ Kennedy 1987, p. 355.
  5. ^ a b Moore 1999, p. 734: "On 24 December [1918] the Quartet was finished. Keeping an old promise from the turn of the century, [Elgar] dedicated it to the Brodsky Quartet. Adolf Brodsky was now nearly seventy."
  6. ^ Kennedy, Michael (2001). "Elgar: String Quartet · Quintet". Chandos Records. Retrieved 26 September 2010. The first public performance was given in London in May 1919 by a quartet led by Albert Sammons. 
  7. ^ Moore 1999, p. 740: "The Quartet, the Sonata Romance, and the Quintet played by Albert Sammons, ... On 21 May [1919], the public had the chance to judge for themselves when the same performers gave all three works at the Wigmore Hall."


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